How to launch a 400 bus transit system for one week

Steven White
Jul 29, 2016 · 4 min read

Syncromatics is all about Making Transit Work. In our part of the public transit industry, that usually means bringing technology advancements to an existing transit system and allowing dispatchers, planners, and executives to do their jobs with a newfound wealth of data behind them.

But what happens when the transportation system is brand new, made up of more than 400 vehicles borrowed from agencies in all the surrounding areas, and will only exist for one week?

That’s the problem we faced when tapped by Event Transportation Associates (ETA) to help implement a temporary transit system capable of moving people from hotels scattered around Philadelphia and the surrounding region to various convention sites for the Democratic National Convention.

ETA had the role of transit agency in this case, and we supported them with GPS hardware, dispatch software, and a real-time rider information website.

It all starts with route planning…

While there were official routes going to different areas, each of these routes had many different “patterns,” or versions, that were used at different times of day and were modified frequently due to security concerns, weather, and other necessary detours. All of the patterns were drawn ahead of time, but the system kept them flexible so things could be edited or added to on the fly.

The install

Having sourced, inventoried, and provisioned the devices ahead of time we were ready for a quick deployment once arriving on site in Philadelphia. The parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center became our home for two days as every piece of equipment was installed and validated by our field team.

Dispatch operations

So, you’re waiting for your bus?

Since this wasn’t a typical transit system with buses coming at regular intervals throughout the day, it made a huge operational difference to have passengers ready and waiting just as the bus pulled up. Convention events don’t wait for latecomers, and making sure buses arrived on time was of utmost importance. Letting the riders have real-time information was just one small part of helping the entire operation to run smoothly.

It takes a village

In events, as in cities, it takes a committed and collaborative team to Make Transit Work.

To learn more about Syncromatics, visit our website at www.syncromatics.com and follow us on Twitter @Syncromatics.

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We Make Transit Work

Steven White

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Making Transit Work at Syncromatics

Sync Up with GMV SYNCROMATICS

We Make Transit Work